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France

Nicolas Sarkozy's hospital visit raises questions on the net

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-07-28

Nicolas Sarkozy quick visit to the hospital has raised questions online. Some wish the French president the best, while others speculate about his health.

Nicolas Sarkozy's health

French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, collapsed on Sunday while jogging and was rushed to hospital; he was released the next day after spending a night under observation. It has been reported that his illness was just a “minor incident”. Sarkozy’s collapse has been widely discussed by the online community.
 

The announcement of the head of state’s collapse was quickly broadcast on the web, particular on micro blogging site, Twitter.  Many web users wished the President a speedy recovery.
 

This political journalist from the French daily newspaper, ‘Le Figaro’, applauded the Elysée Palace’s rapid communication of Nicolas Sarkozy’s illness. He claims this to be proof of the President’s desire for transparency, and his desire to stop inaccurate rumours spreading.
 

However, this blogger recalls that Nicolas Sarkozy has not always been so quick to disclose his medical problems. He sites the throat surgery Sarkozy underwent in 2007 which was kept secret as an example.
 

Furthermore, some question the official of events. The official version reports that Sarkozy suffered a simple vasovagal episode. Some in the online community are speculating as to the “real” reason for his collapse, with one net user speculating that a more worrying cardiac episode could be to blame.

This net user recalls that Sarkozy’s attitude differs from that of his predecessors. He explains that Presidential health has always been taboo in France and that Georges Pompidou, François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac all suffered health problems during their periods in office which were either concealed from the public or played down.
 

Bauxite exploitation in Vietnam

98-year old General Vo Nguyen Giap an Indochina and Vietnam war hero, is today fighting against the Government’s plans to quarry bauxite, an ore used for aluminium production. In recent months he has written several open letters expressing his opposition to the granting of permission to a Chinese public enterprise for an immense bauxite field in the centre of the country. An opposition movement is now mobilising on the web
 

Net users concerned by the social and ecological consequences of such a project have launched an online campaign to urge the Government to abandon it. This video explains that open pit mines and the treatment of the ore, which produces toxic substances, represent a very serious threat to the environment.

This net user recalls points out that the region is home to several ethnic minorities whose living conditions will be severely impacted. He explains that these people could be displaced by the influx of Chinese workers coming to work in the mines.
 

Many bloggers take a dim view of the arrival of the Chinese in this strategically important region of the country. As shown by these photo montages and caricatures available online, Beijing’s participation in the exploitation of these mines has rekindled anti-Chinese feeling in the Vietnamese blogosphere.

Many in the online continue denounce the project. This online petition has been signed by hundreds of net users, while this blog invites them to send in photos to express their opposition to the scheme and urge the Government to put an end to it.


Broadband internet for Africa
 
Thanks to a new undersea fibre optic cable, East African countries - with the exception of Somalia - now have broadband internet access. The 13,700 kilometres of cables which were unwound from Kenya to South Africa, via Madagascar will mean the cost of accessing the web will be greatly reduced and the quality of the connection will be vastly improved. The next stage for this part of the continent will be to begin link ups to individuals’ homes.

 

Secured swimming areas in France
 
Tourists getting ready to spend their holidays on the French coast can now consult in real time the results of water quality tests, which are carried out at least once a month at the 3,200 swimming areas in France. The site is available in three languages and was designed by the Ministry of Health. It also offers information about beach facilities, such as the availability of showers.
 

Video of the day

How much is a trillion worth (1000 billion dollars)? To illustrate the magnitude of the amount at a time when the US public deficit is set to reach 1,800 billion dollars this year, the  Mint.com site, – which specialises in finance - has created this video. We learnt, for example, that a trillion dollars could finance the military of all NATO members, and that it is 10 times the amount that of the Marshall plan.

Date created : 2009-07-28

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